A special group that fixes what's broken

December 7, 2009 3:25:09 PM PST
They get together weekly to repair broken items, and no item is too big or too small. And sometimes, you can't even see what gets fixed, but you can certainly feel it.Think about some of the items you have at home that may be broken and about to be discarded, or items you've already thrown out, but wish you could have hung onto. That's where the Fixers Collective comes in.

A broken zipper ails an old Lehman Brothers bag. It's a relic these days. And it's something Namit Saksena doesn't want to throw away, so he's learning to repair it at the Fixers Collective.

Most of the work takes place in a little room inside the Proteus Gowanus Gallery space in Brooklyn. Last year, the gallery looked into the theme of mending by mending books and even socks, and that's how the collective was born.

"I think, in general, people are tired of throwing things out," Proteus Gowanus' Sasha Chavchavadze said. "They want to keep their things."

And when the economy tanked, that sentiment strengthened. So every Thursday night, a small group gets fixing.

They fix electrical devices, clothes and art work. Umbrellas are popular, and those that don't get fixed get turned into totes. A $5 donation is encouraged for repairs. Teddy Rieck brought in his Nintendo DS.

So a little epoxy and tape, and phew, what a relief.

Now, he's happy. And so are those who do the fixing. They say fixing is empowering, and the collective's leader suggests it's a metaphor for much more - fixing the world.

The Fixers meet every Thursday evening. For more information, visit ProteusGowanus.com/main/reading-room/fixers-collective.